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Wednesday, 5 December 1973
Page: 2440

Senator O'BYRNE (TASMANIA) - By way of preface to my question, which I address to the Minister for the Media, I would like to point out that because of construction work involved in the colour television conversion program of the Australian Broadcasting Commission in Hobart, the available space has been reduced considerably and accommodation difficulties are being experienced by the staff. In view of the intention to appoint additional staff this financial year as the Commission develops its programming arrangements, will the Minister ask the Commission to look at this accommodation matter as one of urgency in order to ensure that reasonable working conditions are available to the staff of the ABC in Hobart?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is a fact that a colour conversion program is under way in Hobart and that this has caused a reduction in accommodation from that which is normally available to the Australian Broadcasting Commission. This financial year, as a result of the Labor Government's making available an additional $ 10m to the Australian Broadcasting Commission, the Commission intends to increase considerably, amongst other things its educational programming arrangements. The Commission already has drawn this matter to my attention. Recently the ABC sought and obtained my approval to lease space in a building now being erected in Macquarie Street, Hobart, which is reasonably close to its existing premises. I understand that the building is expected to become available to the Commission by some time in March 1974. Its availability will ameliorate some of the accommodation difficulties about which complaints are now reasonably being made.

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